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Leftovers: June 2014 Edition

Let’s talk about June. June is like that guy you dated for a hot second back in college. There were a few blurry weeks of thrills, and then it died faster than you can say “single again.” I was just starting to get to know June and now it’s gone. I really would have loved to see where that relationship would go, but alas, I guess it’s not meant to be. We’ll see how things work out with July. Seems promising, but I’m really hoping he takes things a little slower.

Of course, the big news in June was our Cape Cod vacation, but I’ve already recapped that for you here. What I didn’t recap were my vacation reads, of which there were many.

june book collage.jpg

I started with The Paris Wife which is written from the perspective of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley. The book is set in Paris after World War I, and it chronicles the beginnings of Hemingway’s career, along with his up and down relationship with Hadley and fellow future-brilliant authors Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce. I found the book utterly fascinating, albeit a tad depressing. A quick and interesting read, especially if you’re a fan of period novels or any of the authors mentioned above.

After hearing all of the hoopla about Gone Girl, I finally picked it up and devoured it in the span of about 32 hours. I was sucked in by the story and only grew more intrigued as the book went on. The book kept surprising me, which I loved. I found I kept trying to explain the story to the Mr. just so I would have someone to talk to about it. However, if The Paris Wife didn’t already have a depressing view on marriage, this book sealed the deal. Yikes. And I can’t give a complete recommendation without noting that the language in the book is ahem…how shall I say…verrrry….”adult.”

My final vacation read was something completely different, in a really good way. I picked up The Passion of Mary Margaret by Lisa Samson primarily because I read Embrace Me by her last year and LOVED it. The story is about a nun who is called to marry a broken young man who is wracked with regrets and sickness after selling his body on the streets. See what I mean by completely different? I suppose you could put this novel into the realm of Christian romantic fiction, but not in the contrived or cheesy way you might be imagining. This is what I love about Lisa Samson’s books. They’re always honest and she doesn’t shy away from difficult topics. I found this one refreshing and uplifting, a welcome change after my previous two reads. Though I have to say, I still think Embrace Me was the better of the two.

Right now, I’m in the middle of Tales from a Blue Bike and Parnassus on Wheels. I’ll share my reviews of those next month, but so far so good! On a side note, I’d like your opinion. Do you like the book reviews included in these leftovers posts or would you rather I have a separate post with these? Let me know in the comments!)

Okay, on to a few other gems I enjoyed this month:

A Manifesto Against the Tyranny of Luxury Kitchens from Victoria Elizabeth Barnes– If you haven’t read this girl’s blog yet, you must! She is hysterical!)

14 Things Only Girls with Thick Hair Will Understand from HuffingtonPost– My favorite? Your hair is so heavy it gives you headaches. I thought I was the only one!

3 Tricks for Making the Perfect Poached Egg from Jamie Oliver– Mastering poached eggs is on my to-do list for July. Wish me luck!

Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad from Gimme Some Oven– Does anyone else remember that sweet and tangy ramen salad found at church potlucks all over the Midwest? Well, Ali’s bringing it back, and I couldn’t be more happy about it.

On Laundry and Love Stories from Shauna Niequist– Ummmmm this quote- “Because marriage isn’t a business, co-owned and managed. It’s a love story, something we’re writing every day.”

This video of two dogs dining. Awesome.

And this quote. This is how I want to live my July:

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.”

What about you? What have you been reading/doing/eating/loving this month?


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  • Michelle June 30, 2014, 7:39 PM

    I LOVED The Paris Wife! Definitely not the happiest book, but I was fascinated. I actually finished Gone Girl last night (I read 3/4 of it in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down), and I agree with everything you said. I still can’t get over that ending. Just…yeah. I don’t want to give anything way, but bleh.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood July 1, 2014, 5:53 PM

      I know. The ending was totally not what I expected, which I think is a good thing, but so depressing! It’s hard to talk about the book and not give it away. That’s why I settled on attempting to tell Will the entire plot so I could talk to someone about the CRAZY!

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